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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Margaret’s Rematch by Farida Mestek

Margaret’s Rematch by Farida Mestek
Publisher: GirleBooks
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (260 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Poinsettia

After the loss of her sister, Margaret Fairfax settles at Northbrook Hall – the country estate of her brother-in-law, Mr. Westfield, whose dislike of her is legendary – where she faces a major challenge of reconciling their many differences and proving to him that despite the rumours of schemes and scandals that followed her all the way from London she is worthy of his regard and affection. With time and many an exertion on her part and that of her new family, Margaret succeeds in altering Mr. Westfield’s opinion of her and attaching his heart, but fears the worst when her deceitful friend arrives.

Margaret has fallen in love with James Westfield, but will her conniving friend, Catherine Stockley, ruin everything?

To say that Margaret Fairfax and James Westfield have an uneasy relationship would be an understatement. Their animosity toward each other began when Margaret was still a child and he had just married Margaret’s sister, Isabella. Upon her death, Isabella made James promise that he would take care of Margaret. Though James is an honorable man, his dislike of Margaret is so strong that he put off fulfilling his promise for nearly four years. However, when news of a terrible scandal surrounding nineteen year old Margaret reaches his ears, he decides he must take her away from London to live in the country with him in order to save her from herself.

Once Margaret starts spending more time with James, she comes to realize that she’s been wrong about him all these years. It isn’t long before Margaret loses her heart to him, but as soon as things between her and James start to progress, Catherine Stockley reenters Margaret’s life. After the death of her sister, Margaret had the unfortunate luck of falling prey to Catherine Stockley. Catherine is always coming up with schemes and scandals to benefit and amuse herself. Though Margaret found Catherine amusing at first, she eventually realized that Catherine is not the friend she pretended to be. Will Margaret be able to break Catherine’s hold over her before her chance for love is ruined?

One of the things I liked most about Margaret’s Rematch was the way that Margaret and James teased each other. At first, they had a very tense relationship that could barely be considered polite. However, once they put their past misunderstandings behind them, they were able to see each other in a completely different light. Watching their relationship change from one of bitterness to one of love was very enjoyable.

I also loved the fact that James and Margaret had personalities that served to balance each other. Margaret has the tendency to act and speak a little rashly. She enjoys laughing and teasing. James, on the other hand, is much more serious. He adheres to a strict code of behavior and values a good book more than a good laugh. Together, they make a great couple. James helps ground Margaret while she helps him lighten up from time to time.

Catherine Stockley makes a great villain. What makes Catherine particularly interesting and sets Margaret’s Rematch apart from many other novels is that Catherine didn’t mean any real harm toward Margaret when they initially met. However, Catherine’s interests have always been selfish. She viewed Margaret’s wealth and social status as a way to better her own place in society. Only when Margaret starts to show some independence, does Catherine start actively plotting against her. Margaret has a hard time separating herself from Catherine not only because they were once friends, but also because Margaret genuinely cares for Clifford Stockley, Catherine’s brother. Margaret values Clifford’s friendship much more than she ever cared for Catherine. Margaret’s dilemma and how she handles it makes her a very relatable character.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Margaret’s Rematch. It is written in the style of Jane Austen with very relatable characters and a romance that is sweet and satisfying. Margaret’s Rematch will definitely be a story I’ll reread with pleasure.